tv Lockup Wabash MSNBC March 24, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. somebody like me with my mentality does not belong out in society. >> after a horrifying act of violence, kokomo slayer displays his brutality. >> two brothers pay a harsh death penalty for their dealings in methamphetamine. >> he messed up his life trying to save mine. >> mom my fight is done.
i cannot take it any more. >> a cell search revealing an inmate on the edge. >> why you going to strip me down again? >> that's the protocol? >> that's [ bleep ]. >> and we turn the cameras over to the inmates for a glimpse into their lives. >> get the back piece into the camera. showing off your work, son. growing old in here. white hairs, gray hairs. going bald. life's over with. >> is this place stressful?
held yeah, it's stressful. it's one of the most stressful things you can do. you try to think of anything you can do to relieve stress from drawing a picture to lifting weights, to i mean anything. it's horrible. nobody wants to do this. >> 407. >> isolated in the rural farming communities of southwestern indiana, the wabash valley correctional facility is 340 acres of concrete, razor wire and broken dreams for the inmates incarcerated in this maximum security indiana prison. they arrive from all over the state. but the superintendent dick brown who runs wabash and started as a corrections officer here 19 years earlier has seen a big change in the population.
>> traditionally they were from the inner cities, cities like gary and indianapolis and south bend and now we are seeing more from the rural communities in part to the methamphetamine problem. the ingredients for methamphetamine come from farms. so that's why we have a large amount of offenders being incarcerated from local small communities. they get involved with the meth ring and caught up and end up in the indiana department of correction. >> i got to be honest, most of the police knew me by a first-name basis. >> it's the same thing over and over. day in, day out. >> methamphetamine is the worst thing i have ever come in contact with. my only regret, i wish i never, ever in my life seen it for the hundred good stories i could
tell you i can tell you three times the bad stories. it made me feel the greatest at times and made me hate myself most of the time. >> chas harper is currently serving his fourth prison term. the first three totalled six years for theft and burglary but when he was caught with 114 grams of meth the judge threw the book at him. >> i was sentenced to 72 years which means i have to do 36. that is 12 years more than a murder. most murderers get 60 years. it's hard for my family to grasp that the amount of time for the charges. i mean how do you explain to a six-year-old why your dad can't come home and to an 11-year-old you might be a grown man before you see me again on the outside. >> but harper is not without family behind the bars.
he shares a cell with his younger half trouble. >> we have got in trouble together. if he decided he wanted to do something i would go behind him and be like all right. let's go, then. >> keep doing this [ bleep ] be a domestic battery case. i swear to god. >> i got it. >> i will be up for clemency by the time you figure it out. >> carr has been in and out of prison on minor drug charges for ten years. this time he is in for dealing meth. the prosecutors had enough of him as well. >> they said they would give me 85 years. they just gave chas 72 years. i signed the plea bargain.
>> i know you are distraught because "days of our lives" isn't on now. >> even with the plea bargain he got 35 years. carr says he sold drugs not just to support his addiction but to support his brother. >> chas was arrested and i started paying for his legal fees. i was paying for his attorney with drug money. >> i feel like it's my fault. i feel like he messed up his life trying to save mine. >> family's first, you know, it's just the way it is. >> i know in any situation i ever get into, he's going to be there, whether it's right or wrong, good or bad, he's going to be there. and i mean, he's loyal, loving and a pain in the ass, sometimes but that's him.
you can't pick your family. >> skitz. that's the nickname that he gave me probably about ten years ago? >> yeah. ten or twelve years ago. >> yeah. >> how did he get that nickname. you tell me. >> we was high on meth, we was setting there and he was tripping out thinking he could see the cops everywhere and he kept saying there's the cops i swear that's the cops. i was like, quit skitzing out. i kept calling him skitz and now everybody in america calls him skitz. >> pretty much. >> coming up harper and carr continue to mark time. a cell search uncovers a cry for help. >> we just found a suicide note in his drawer.
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a methamphetamine epidemic has not only ravaged many of the small towns in america's heartland it has changed the face of inmate populations. at prisons like wabash valley correctional facility in indiana. but wabash houses men doing time for more serious crimes. men like jeremy blanchard. >> i have never been a drug abuser or a drunk. i knew what i done when i done it. i knew the heinous nature of what i done.
i can still to this day remember nearly every blood spot that was in that house. i can remember the wallpaper, the way the bodies were laid. i can remember nearly everything that happened that night. >> blanchard has served a little more than one year of a 195-year sentence. but his facial tattoos will forever commemorate both his crime, the triple murder and the moniker the media gave him, the kokomo slayer. >> that's who i am and what i'm about. yes. >> blanchard tracked down his former girlfriend, her mother, and her mother's boyfriend when
they traveled to kokomo, indiana to attend a funeral. blanchard broke into their home, hid inside and stabbed all three to death with a butcher's knife. >> a friend of jessica's told me that she had an abortion and that's what probed my anger and my hatred. i mean that's my child that was killed. i'm not even a political person. i've never thought about abortions this that manner. but i guess you could say as a man, i felt like i was stabbed in the heart a thousand times. blanchard first attacked jessica's mother and her boyfriend as they lay in bed. >> i remember jessica running into the room and i stabbed jessica just to shut her up. because she was screaming.
and i wanted to talk to jessica before i knew i killed her. so i let jessica say good-bye to her mom because her mom was dying. i took jessica back into the kitchen. and i -- i made a tourniquet for jessica's neck because i stabbed her neck. i wanted to know why she done what she done, why she killed my child. and i will say this, she never admitted it. >> the next morning jessica's brother arrived and discovered the bodies. he identified blanchard as a suspect and police apprehended him within hours. blanchard bled guilty as part of a deal to avoid the death penalty. >> you don't feel you should have received the death penalty? >> i believe that is for god to answer.
if god would have wanted that i would have got that. do i believe that because i took another life i should die? no i don't. >> why isn't it up to god to decide jessica's fate? >> obviously, it was their time. i can't answer that. >> do you still believe that they all deserved to die? >> i would honestly answer yes. yes. i believe that they done something to me that i couldn't have lived with. it would have hurt me to the day i died. >> while blanchard says drug use played no role in his murder it plays a role in many of the ores. drugs make their way behind the walls as well despite screens
methods they can be smuggled in during visitation and in the mail. >> we are going to go in and shake down suspected people who have drugs, weapons, anything unauthorized. >> let the dog run through the cell and shake down. >> 504. >> there is possible concentrations of meth in this unit. so we're going to try to find it. >> 507. >> a lot easier to see things when there is not as much clutter. that's why the guys like to keep clutter. it makes our job harder. >> while the officers search their cells, the inmates give urine samples. >> the result is negative on that. each line has a number. the drugs down there.
the control along the top. tells us the test is valid. >> one inmate refused to comply with the drug test. >> 604. >> four. >> the inmate is martin mcdaniel who is serving 16 years for three counts of burglary. >> he is going to the ccu which is the custody control unit. they take offenders who are troublemakers who refuse orders and have been in fights what have you. >> officers inspecting the cell make a discovery. >> i will call the nurse. this is prescription. >> mcdaniel has a prescription for anti-depressants. but the pills shouldn't be in his cell. >> we found a bunch of drugs he should have taken when they were given to him. he has been saving them. >> moments later a letter is discovered in the cell. it could shed light. >> hi, mom i'm good and safe depends on where i went.
i'm sorry for putting you through this be mom my fight is done i could not take it any more. this is a suicide letter. >> vera? >> what? >> the gentleman we just took to ccu we just found a suicide note in her drawer. he is saying bye to his mom and children. put him on suicide watch. make sure that gets to evidence. >> i got it right here. >> okay. >> coming up. the letter was never meant to be found. >> martin mcdaniel speaks out and is surprised by the consequences. and more from the kokomo slayer. >> i seen it like she done something to me. so therefore i'm going to do something tenfold to her. oil sands projects, like kearl, and the keystone pipeline
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finds a way to deal with life behind the walls. half brothers dave and chas use humor. >> we try to make each other laugh. think of how much we are saving on gas right now. we are saving a lot of money on gas right now. what's that saying what won't make you laugh will make you cry. you just do what you do. >> with harper sentenced to 72 years and carr 35 years for crimes related to their use of methamphetamine both men have had plenty of cry about especially when it come to who they left behind. >> i got the zoom and stuff right. mom, dad, i just want to take a second when nobody's in here to tell you that i love you, i miss you, i'm sorry for what i put
you through. >> to my boys i love you. i think about you every day. i'm so sorry i hurt you. through the process of growing up without having a father. hardest part of doing any of this time is knowing that you guys are worried about me. there's no need for that. >> but not everyone here has a brother to lean on. >> 604. >> four. >> during a routine shake down in housing unit d inmate martin mcdaniel was taken to the custody control unit after refusing a drug test. officers discovered he was hoarding prescription drugs and then they found something else. >> the gentleman we took to ccu we just found a suicide note in his drawer and he is saying bye to his mom and children. >> inmates on suicide watch are
stripped of all possessions except boxer shorts, placed in a stripped down cell and undergo around the clock observation. after they examined him, mental health staff determined mcdaniel was not suicidal. for refusing to take the drug test and he most must remain in the custody control unit where he will be locked into his cell 23 hours a day. later he said it was because he had taken some of his cell mate's prescription methadone. i refused it because i was positive too and ended up over here. >> can you talk to me a little bit about the letter? >> the letter was never intended to be found. i wrote it about a month ago. just haven't heard from nobody
or nothing and you know was just feeling pretty down and so i wrote it. unfortunately, they found it. >> mcdaniel says part of his despair is from missing his two daughters who are 12 and 13 years old. he has spent almost half of their lives in prison. >> they had it rough not having me around. i chose drugs a lot of the time. that deprived them. you write them and don't get a response you know. >> mcdaniel has only seen his daughters once in the last two years. the last time was after he swallowed a handful of pills in his cell. >> when that happened and my family got told, you know, i got a visit, like, the following week from my kids and everybody
started writing letters and i think it was more to open their eyes up too that i was, you know, pretty down, you know. from now hearing from them. >> as the interview wrapped up mcdaniel expected to return to his cell in the custody control unit. but his comments in the interview renewed concerns about his state of mind and they decided he would be placed on suicide watch. >> i don't want to let anything happen to you. >> nothing is going to happen to me. why you going a to strip me out again? >> because that's the protocol. >> that's [ bleep ] and you know it. >> this will be it and they will talk to you in the morning. >> let the doctor talk to you and we'll get it cleared up. >> because we talked about the [ bleep ] letter out here. >> he was sent here on suicide watch. mental health released him but
custody, meaning myself, and my captain and other custody staff here feel that we need to keep an eye on him until mental health can speak with him over the issue of the letter. >> mcdaniel will be confined in a cell with only his boxer shorts and remain under constant observation until he is take off suicide watch. >> we have a fellow in suicide watch he goes through the fingers move, what he is doing and how he is acting if he is in restraints or just in his cell as long as he's okay. coming up -- >> dare you to put your finger in this. >> i did. >> two brothers and their buddies celebrate another month down with a prisoner slam. >> rocking up a crack crock. >> i never did that.
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this is my personal time to say once again to my family that i'm truly sorry. and it's a -- if i could change the fact i put you through so much turmoil and heart ache, i would. jeremy blanchard might regret that his parents and young son suffered through the emotional turmoil of losing him to prison. but when it comes to the horrifying triple murder that brought him to wabash and earned him the moniker kokomo slayer he is less regretful. >> would i say that i would not do it again? i honestly cannot tell you that. >> blanchard stabbed his former girlfriend, girlfriend's mother and his girlfriend's mother's boyfriend with a butcher knife. >> i seen it like she done
something to me so therefore i'm going to do something tenfold to her. i'm a man of principle. i guess you could say. somebody like me with my mentality does not belong out in society. so, yeah, i believe that i belong in prison. i don't take that away from society. >> blanchard will have a lifetime in prison to think about the devastating effects of his principles. but chas harper who is serving 72 years on his latest conviction for dealing methamphetamine has a different set of priorities. he recently discovered a device to help make his leisure time more leisurely. >> this is a razor and you -- and a guard and you hook it up there.
so you are all the way across the cell. just sit back and turn it like that. >> knowing he might have to serve at least 36 years before being paroled, harper places a high priority on making prison feel like home. it helps that he shares a cell with his half brother david carr who is up for parole in about 16 years. but they celebrate every month that gets them closer to home. >> today is -- we're going to celebrate a month gone by. me, my brother and two other guys. kamikaze is a penitentiary mcguyver. he's good at cooking his celly is really good at cooking. we have a nacho slam and make a cake.
we say it's a celebration. i say it's to realize we wasted another month in here. it's something to look forward to. >> who makes the cake? >> my buddy kamikaze makes the cake. >> he is no ordinary cook. among wabash inmates he's a culinary genius, turning snack food into something special. but doing a prior prison term he learned to be a difficult sort of cook. >> i went around to other people who were in prison for cooking meth and got a recipe from this guy and this guy and figured that was going to be my new thing. stealing cars wasn't working. the last two times that i got out of prison that was all that i -- my intent was to cook meth. i love to smoke it too.
but you know, i like to make it. making something that people really like and getting the reaction from it, you know, that was another thing that i liked about it. i tried to make the best stuff. >> thank you. >> for their monthly slam, the four men pool the snacks they purchase from the prison commissary. >> this is a survival kit. chips, shells, sausages, bean, soups. >> about a month. >> about a week, really. >> but things don't always go as planned. >> a bag of jolly ranchers out of a $20 order. this is everything i ordered. all they gave me was the jolly ranchers. everything else exceeds my balance. i'm eating off skitz for the next two weeks. >> you all right with that? >> [ bleep ] yeah.
>> he doesn't have a choice in the matter. >> that's what a brother's for. >> what's mine is his. >> even with the short fall the men managed to acquire the necessary ingredients for gaskill's chocolate peanut butter fudge cake. >> to make the fudge, you take a peanut butter and melt it down and add sugar with it. we have brownies for the crust. we'll roll that out and make it a layered brownie, fudge and once that is done we'll melt down the candy bars and put that on top. it's like rock up a crack rock. >> i never did that sir. >> looking good, ain't it, bro? >> [ bleep ] yeah. >> chocolate. you have to spread it out before it hardens up. that's it.
guaranteed if you don't have diabetes after this, you will. >> here's to the month of april. another month in the books. >> 394 more months and i'm out of here. >> quesadillas for may? >> i don't know. >> gaskill, harper and carr received their convictions for drug-related offenses. but fabian gomez is serving 40 years for taking a life. >> feel pain because i did horrible things out there. destroyed lots of families, including my own. i lived the life of a thug. all i did was party and sell drugs. >> gomez's crime took place on new year's eve when he says he
was cleaning his gun. >> new year's of course you want to shoot your gun for new year's. >> gomez admits cheating on his girlfriend and that night she confronted him on it. >> we got in a really bad argument. not physical, verbal but in the instance of the argument, something happened where the gun went off. >> gomez's girlfriend was hit in the face. >> she was -- she fell to the floor. she was bleeding. i called 911 and the police came and they pulled me to the side. you know, everything started happening. everything started happening like i was in the dream. >> his girlfriend was rushed to the hospital. but she wasn't the only one fighting for her life. >> she was pregnant.
she was going to be a month due when it happened. >> doctors saved the baby, a girl who is being raised by his girlfriend's parents. gomez's girlfriend died two weeks later. >> do you think you will ever see that child? >> i have faith that i will. i have faith that i will. >> coming up, martin mcdaniel gets honest about his suicidal feelings. >> it's a good thing they come in my room. >> you were, then? >> yeah. no doubt about it. or... we make it pink ! with these 4g lte tablets, you can do business at lightning-fast speeds. we'll take all the strawberries, dave. you got it, kid. we have a winner. we're definitely gonna need another one. small businesses that want to grow
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this is my main view a lot of times. this is a -- lying on my bunk, look up. it's pretty much what you see. cell door. boxes. sink. toilet. mirrors. headphones. got me a penitentiary back scratcher. this is existence. you make the best of it. you get comfortable. you do what you got to do. it is what it is. >> making the best of life at the wabash valley correctional facility is something everyone must learn on their own. it is hard for martin mcdaniel. after officers found a stockpile
of prescription pills and a suicide note they put him on a suicide watch. mcdaniel was taken off suicide watch the following day. several weeks later he admitted that despite his earlier denials he was suicidal. >> when i wrote the letter, right, i had intentions of o.d.'ing because my kids wrote me a letter. i was going to wait until after visit and take them that night, right? but it's a good thing they come in the room, man. >> you were, then? >> yeah. yeah. yeah. no doubt about it. >> mcdaniel says his despair was over the impact his
incarceration was having on his two young daughters. >> sometimes i think it would be better. >> what would? >> they don't have to weigh the options. i like to see my kids grow up, you know. but -- it's pretty, pretty [ bleep ] situation. >> while mcdaniel longs for a visit from his family, patrick gaskill just had a severe restriction placed on his visitation privileges. he was caught with a bag full of inmate-made alcohol in his cell. and now he is restricted to a noncontact basis. >> that sucks. that's about worst thing they can do to you here. you know, still get visits but noncontact. but it's not worth having the
people drive, you know miles and miles you know just to come see you behind a glass wall. you can't even hug your people. >> what did they tell you? >> same old -- pled not guilty. >> gaskill will get 60 days in confinement. he will leave his three closest friends behind. >> you have until friday to learn to make cakes. >> my replacement. >> no. >> yeah. >> no. >> and electronics. >> what are you talking about? >> you're taking my cake boss away from me. [ bleep ] you know what i mean. you have to step it a up. 60 days without a cake. >> but gaskill caught a small break. before his sanctions go into effect he will get to attend a graduation ceremony for having completed educational programs.
>> never worn one of these before. >> i graduated building maintenance. get a visit along with it. that's the main thing i was looking forward to. hopefully my dad made it up here. >> different. feels like the jump suits. i guess they don't consider a graduation ceremony as a visit and normal visiting rules don't apply. today i get to see him face to face and give him a hug. it's like velcro now. >> for gomez, the ceremony represents the completion of his g.e.d. >> is this how you put it on? what side did this go on? >> i haven't got an education in 12 years. >> how does it feel? >> it feels pretty good. >> my mom and my sister-in-law are coming up. happy to see them. they're proud of many.
never thought i would get an education. they just thought i'd stay the same. [ music playing ] [ applause ] as i call off your names please come forward and receive your certificates. patrick gaskill. [ applause ] >> thank you. >> star of the show. >> yeah. >> fabian gomez. [ applause ] [ applause ] >> cordero love. [ applause ] brandon mulvaney.
all together you may now shift your tassels to the left please join me in congratulating the graduating class. >> i'm real glad you came. >> wouldn't miss it. wouldn't miss it. >> missed you. >> first time i accomplished something. over 12 years. last time i walked on a stage was in eighth grade. >> how are you today?
>> [ speaking foreign language ]. >> i've told him before, it's like, you know i think about him all the time and part of me is here with him. you know, i don't know if he is suffering but i am. >> i think about him all the time. >> this is the best part, though. this right here. >> yep. >> this is the best part. coming up, patrick gaskill relocates. and chas harper and dave carr get bittersweet news. >> when he leaves the cell will the be the last time i see him again. it's a nice back piece, two of the most important are energy security and economic growth. north america actually has
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it's a nice back piece, ain't it? my brother did that. huh? getting the back piece on camera, baby, huh, showing off your work, son. huh? >> prior to coming to wabash, half brothers chas harper and dave carr had several short-term prison stays and carr, a tattoo artist has commemorated the experiences both on harper's brother and his own. >> the prison towers with the clown and the judge in between it is the clown. >> they tried to make the best of things with their neighbors, patrick gaskill and fabian gomez. >> is the cake coming to my house? >> you better grab a bowl. >> but change is on the horizon. after graduating from one of the police's educational programs, gaskill is about to leave the housing unit to spend 60 days in confinement with inmate-made
alcohol. >> the sanctions i imposed for making the intoxicants were a written reprimand do not make or possess intoxicants. decredit from credit class one to credit class two and 60 days disciplinary seg. there is administrative segregation. >> although the confinement unit is an eighth of a mile away for security purposes all inmates transferred there have to be excorted by two officers and transported by van. >> 60 days is the beginning of summer. i will be missing this summer this year's pretty much. the beth couple months out of the year. it don't make no difference. have to try to keep my nose clean and stay out for next time.
>> he'll be back. [ bleep ]. it's one good thing about prison ain't nobody going nowhere. >> sometimes it's good to be by yourself to get you that alone time that you need. but on the other time will the be boring because i don't have nobody to talk to. this is it, though. >> new home for a while. >> what's your first impression? >> i've been in the hole before. different scenery, you know, still locked up doing time. >> though carr and harper have come to depend on each other in prison they may be going their separate ways before long as well. >> i'm assigned transfer papers to go to a lower security prison. before they could refuse them. but now you can't refuse it.
>> what is going to happen to you? you'll miss him. >> i might do a little ccu time. i don't know. i don't know how i'm going to react to it. but it's going to suck ass. >> i would rather be here. >> when he leaves this cell will the be the last time i see him. it believes me 33 left to do. he can be out within 15 years but he'll never be allowed to come back into the facility to see me. that's my best friend. >> at least i'll get letters in 15 years. there's a positive side to it. >> whenever i get to wherever i'm going i'll get a proof of correspondence but it's not same thing.
>> i just want to let you know, chas, i miss you brother. keep your head up. hopefully i'll see you soon. >> david carr, man, you already know how i feel about you. it's going to suck when you leave. but right now the goal is to make sure you hit the streets. so keep your head up. try not to -- i'll try not to skitz out. while your gone.